15 May 2012

Kazakhstan: Beyneu - Uzbekistan Border (Jasliq), May 8, 2012

The day started slowly, going over our bikes (it was a bumpy 400km over the past couple of days) and getting things ready to depart.  We needed to stock up on some water and supplies in case we needed to camp.  It would be a long ride to Kungrad and with a border crossing; one can never really know how long it will take.  Before leaving, we wanted to check out one of the main attractions of the region, Bezik Ata.  It is roughly 18km from Beyneu. Just outside of town, we fueled up and we were off.
Center square in Beyneu
The road was about the same as it has been, clay base, rutted out with pot holes.  At times, there would be pockets of sand, which after the past two days we are more cautious.  We did not want to fall any more.  There were also a bunch of European trucks coming and going, at least 1 per kilometer, and they were moving fast!
Bezik Ata (close to Beyneu)
Entrance to the necropolis, Bezik Ata
Approaching Akzhigit Station we found another petrol station.  The boarder was supposedly close and we wanted to make sure we had enough fuel to get us to Kungrad.  Fuel is an issue in Uzbekistan and even though there may be stations, there is nothing in the tanks. 
Some camels cruising with us
We arrived at the border, and like all other boarders, we proceeded to the front of the line.  First was the Kazakhstan crossing.  They pulled Scott aside and asked for the custom’s form for the bike.  He said we were never given anything in Aktau, at the port.  The guy shrugged his shoulders, handed back the passport and said, “Ok”.
The border, they always look more intimidating than really are
The Uzbek side was a bit different.  We were handed two forms and they were written in Cyrillic.  Luckily for us, the guys there were nice enough to help us fill in the forms.  We needed to go to a few different offices, pay 200 tenge for a photocopy and a couple sheets of paper, wait about an hour then we were back on the road.  The total time at the boarder was about 2 hours. 
Welcome to Uzbekistan...home of the flatness
Within 20km of the boarder, Scott felt the front tire a bit loose.  We pulled over and realized that his back tire was deflated.  There was not just one puncture but two, Welcome to Uzbekistan.  It took us about an hour and a half to plug them and get back on the road. 
Night was nearing and we would have to camp.  We drove another 60km towards Jasliq, then pulled off onto a side road to camp for the night.

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